Last month Vox reported on a “scientific paper” written by Maggie Simpson, et al., being accepted by two scientific journals. The paper, a spoof generated by engineer Alex Smolyanitsky using a random text editor, was allegedly peer reviewed and accepted for publication by two of the many for-profit open access science journals that have sprung up over the past decade.The article (here) provides a nice overview of how rampant the trolling by fake scientific journals has become and some of the economic incentives behind them.
If you’re in academia, you probably receive email solicitations from these predatory journals regularly. I probably delete a handful of solicitations per day from such journals. I just assumed they were bogus, but the Vox article also provided a link to a useful listing of suspected predatory publishers created by Jeffrey Beall. Sure enough, my most recent email was from one of the publishers on this list.
While the article focuses on the problems these journals create for trust in scientific publications, the credibility of real peer reviewed scientific research, and evaluation of a given scholar’s publication resume, it fails to mention the complementary cause of the problem: Continue reading The (Fake) Academic Publishing Game